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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Chiropractic Care Enhances Ligament Tone: Dr. Harlan Sparer describes how ligament health and proper alignment work in tandem to reduce pain

Jan 02, 2015 01:07PM ● By Dr. Harlan Sparer

Tone is what holds our body together, and ligament health is vital to this. The now-lost art of naprapathy considered it essential, as did 19th-century chiropractic. Ligaments connect bones together and hold them in alignment. They have extremely symmetrical, tightly banded fibers lined up in only one direction. They get very little blood supply, similar to tendons, which anchor muscles to bone. When any joint loses some of its function, a ligament tear or sprain is part of the cause, which causes swelling over time to initiate the healing process. Ligaments take weeks and often months to heal, based on their design and lack of blood supply.

Proper alignment is essential to a ligament healing, because the unidirectional fibers need to be opposed to ensure healing. Chiropractors correct subluxations, which are a special form of sprain involving the vertebrae of the spine. This occurs when the articular, or joint, surfaces of the vertebrae change from their healthy state of alignment and complete contact of both vertebral facets to partial contact, due to a combination of trauma, toxins and extreme stress.

When this occurs, the ligaments attaching the vertebrae stretch and tear, which causes the small muscles between the vertebrae and surrounding muscles to go into spasm, or “splint”, to try and duplicate the supporting and aligning functions of the ligaments. Many people believe that breaking up this kind of spasm is positive, but in actuality, this leaves the injured area vulnerable to further injury because the accommodation and compensation is taken away.

Once alignment of the subluxation (chiropractic adjustment) has been achieved in all planes of motion, the maximum amount of ligamentous fibers are in contact once again. Healing of the ligaments involved can then be accomplished more effectively.

For more information, contact Dr. Harlan Sparer, a DNFT chiropractor practicing in Tempe. He can be reached at 480-245-7894 or [email protected] For classes, recipes and videos, visit or

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